Metal Hero Series

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Metal Hero Series
Creator Toei Company
Original work Space Sheriff Gavan
Films and television
Films Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie
Television series See below
Games
Traditional Rangers Strike
Video games The Space Sheriff Spirits

The Metal Hero Series (メタルヒーローシリーズ Metaru Hīrō Shirīzu?) is a franchise of tokusatsu superhero TV series produced by Toei for Japanese television. The protagonists of the Metal Hero Series are androids, cyborgs, or humans that don metallic suits and are also referenced as "Henshin (transforming) Heroes." Usually, the genre revolves around a technological theme where technology, in the right hands, can be used for the greater good.

The shows were produced by Toei from 1982 through 1999 in conjunction with their other Tokusatsu superhero shows, such as Kamen Rider and Super Sentai. Not only are some of them popular in Japan but also in several other countries like France, Brazil, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Additionally, in the 1990s, Saban Entertainment used some of the shows to produce programs similar to their Power Rangers series. Some of the Metal Hero Series spawned sequels, resulting in the genre developing sub-categories based mainly on space and police-related characters.

List of Metal Hero Series[edit]

  • Space Sheriff Gavan (宇宙刑事ギャバン Uchū Keiji Gyaban?): 1982
    • First of the Space Sheriff Series (宇宙刑事シリーズ Uchū Keiji Shirīzu?)
  • Space Sheriff Sharivan (宇宙刑事シャリバン Uchū Keiji Shariban?): 1983
  • Space Sheriff Shaider (宇宙刑事シャイダー Uchū Keiji Shaidā?): 1984
    • One of three series used in the American series VR Troopers
  • Kyojuu Tokusou Juspion (巨獣特捜ジャスピオン Kyojū Tokusō Jasupion?, Special Megabeast Investigator Juspion): 1985
  • Jikuu Senshi Spielban (時空戦士スピルバン Jikū Senshi Supiruban?, Dimensional Warrior Spielban): 1986
    • One of three series used in the American series VR Troopers
  • Choujinki Metalder (超人機メタルダー Chōjinki Metarudā?, Superhuman Machine Metalder): 1987
    • One of three series used in the American series VR Troopers
  • Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya (世界忍者戦ジライヤ Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya?, World Ninja War Jiraiya): 1988
  • The Mobile Cop Jiban (機動刑事ジバン Kidō Keiji Jiban?): 1989
  • Special Rescue Police Winspector (特警ウインスペクター Tokkei Uinsupekutā?): 1990
    • First of the Rescue Police Series (レスキューポリスシリーズ Resukyū Porisu Shirīzu?)
  • Super Rescue Solbrain (特救指令ソルブレイン Tokkyū Shirei Soruburein?, Special Rescue Command Solbrain): 1991
  • Special Rescue Exceedraft (特捜エクシードラフト Tokusō Ekushīdorafuto?, Special Rescue Exceedraft): 1992
  • Tokusou Robo Janperson (特捜ロボ ジャンパーソン Tokusou Robo Janpāson?, Special Investigations Robo Janperson): 1993
  • Blue SWAT (ブルースワット Burū Suwatto?): 1994
  • Juukou B-Fighter (重甲ビーファイター Jūkō Bī Faitā?, Heavyshell Beetle Fighter): 1995
    • First of the B-Fighter Series (ビーファイターシリーズ Bī Faitā Shirīzu?)
    • Later used for America's Big Bad Beetleborgs
  • B-Fighter Kabuto (ビーファイターカブト Bī Faitā Kabuto?, Beetle Fighter Kabuto): 1996
    • Later used for Beetleborgs Metallix
  • B-Robo Kabutack (ビーロボカブタック Bī Robo Kabutakku?, Beetle Robo Kabutack): 1997
  • Tetsuwan Tantei Robotack (テツワン探偵ロボタック Tetsuwan Tantei Robotakku?, Iron Bark Detective Robotack): 1998

Theatrical releases[edit]

V-Cinema releases[edit]

  • 1998: B-Robo Kabutack: The Epic Christmas Battle
  • 1999: Tetsuwan Tantei Robotack and Kabutack: The Great Strange Country Adventure
  • 2014: Uchu Keiji Sharivan : The Next Generation
  • 2014: Uchu Keiji Shaider : The Next Generation
Televi Magazine Super Video/Special DVD
  • Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Beet Buster vs. J
  • Space Sheriff Gavan Special DVD

Current status[edit]

Other similar heroes, such as Seiun Kamen Machineman, Kyodai Ken Byclosser, Choukou Senshi Changéríon, and Seven Star Fighting God Guyferd also appeared during the time that the Metal Hero Series were on the air, but are not included as part of the Metal Hero Series for various reasons. Machineman and Byclosser were created by Shotaro Ishinomori, Changéríon aired on TV Tokyo, and Guyferd was produced by Toho.

In 1987, a one-shot OVA called Campus Special Investigator Hikaruon, was released as an homage of the Space Sheriff Series.

Currently, the Metal Hero Series are a defunct genre in place of Super Sentai and Kamen Rider Series of shows. The Kamen Rider Series itself has adopted many of the Metal Hero Series' traits. Today, the present versions of these types of heroes are merged in with the Henshin Heroes description.

Some Metal Hero Series characters have made cameo appearances. For example, in 2004, a special Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger stage show had a special appearance by Gavan, who assisted Hurricane Red from Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger and AbaRed from Bakuryū Sentai Abaranger in battling various Alienizer monsters from Dekaranger.

In 2005, Toei released some Space Sheriff trilogy merchandise. Later that year, Bandai released a "Souchaku Henshin" figure of Gavan, followed by "Souchaku Henshin" figures of Sharivan and Shaider in early 2006. In May 2006, a PlayStation 2 video game titled The Space Sheriff Spirits was released. The game featured Gavan, Sharivan and Shaider all teaming up to battle past enemies from their series. The game was panned by critics, however, for bland graphics and dull gameplay.[original research?] In early 2008, the trading card company Cardass announced a new, Metal Heroes based expansion to their Rangers Strike card game, entitled Special Metal Edition, featuring characters and vehicles from the various Metal Hero Series for use within the game.

In January 2012, Toei released the film Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie, which marked the first crossover between the Super Sentai and Metal Hero series and commemorates the 30th anniversary of Gavan. The October 2012 film Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie saw Retsu Ichijouji (Kenji Ohba) pass the torch to a new generation of Space Sheriffs led by Geki Jumonji (Yuma Ishigaki), who makes a few cameos in that year's Super Sentai series installment Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters. The following year, the cast of Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie appear in the 2013 film Kamen Rider × Super Sentai × Space Sheriff: Super Hero Taisen Z.

International adaptations[edit]

United States[edit]

In the 1990s, Saban adapted some of the Metal Hero Series shows for American audiences in the United States. Stock footage from Metalder, Spielvan and Shaider was used in VR Troopers (1994–1996). Later, footage from both B-Fighter series was used in Big Bad Beetleborgs. Both shows ran for two seasons and ended when all the stock footage from those series were used up.

Philippines[edit]

In the Philippines, where several series have aired and dubbed into local languages, Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan has been given the go ahead from Toei to be allowed to be a "sequel" to Shaider, featuring characters intended to be the descendents of those of the original series.[1] Later on, Toei had refused the production to be aired. Instead, a spin-off series set 20 years after the end of Shaider was given the go ahead.[2]

Brazil[edit]

The Metal Hero series were arguably the most successful tokusatsu in Brazil. In 1988, Juspion, under the title Jaspion, was broadcast by TV Manchete and became an instant hit. Manchete followed by broadcasting Jiraiya in 1989, Jiban in 1990, Spielvan (renamed Jaspion 2) in 1991, Winspector in 1994 and Solbrain in 1995. Other networks also brought shows, with TV Bandeirantes broadcasting Metalder and Sharivan in 1990, and two networks, Rede Globo and TV Gazeta, showing Sheider and Gavan (renamed Gyaban) simultaneously in 1991. Jaspion, Jiraiya and Jiban were later released on DVD in Brazil.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "GMA-7 acquires exclusive rights to "Shaider"". pep.ph. Retrieved 2007-09-20. 
  2. ^ "Rights for Shaider Remake Revoked from GMA-7". Gameops.net, n.d. Retrieved 2007-10-27.